RELEASE – Review by Eleanor, Wren Academy

releaseRelease is about a boy called Adam Thorn who is a gay teenager but struggles to find himself as his parents are strong Christians. But will his parents let go of the fact that Adam is not an ordinary Christian kid?!

When Adam starts his day he knew it was going to bad but not even Adam knew it would get as bad as it did. To start the day off he had been invited to his ex-boyfriend’s leaving party and was contemplating whether to go as he had heard rumours that he now had a GIRLFRIEND!!…… (But he’s with Linus now; he’s over Enso isn’t he?) As this day goes from bad to worse he then finds out that his big brother got a girl pregnant and he only knows her from Christian summer camp! Things start to go from bad to worse. As it becomes the worst day of his life, Adam is stuck thinking what else could go wrong – well did he know that there was a lot more to come! His lifelong friend Angela is leaving the city (who will he have now who actually understands him when she’s gone?) Will Adam survive until sunset?

The other part to Release is the dialogue of a girl called Katie who is dead and thirsty for revenge. As she becomes queen to her fantasy faun, she embarks on a mission to release herself from the past but will she ever be freed from the troubles of her past? As she starts her mission to find the person to release her see goes from place to place to help her remember why she is here and why she died.

However, the more she visits the places that were once home and the people that were once in her life she starts to remember that she was not always welcome in this world and that maybe she didn’t make the best choices in her life (when she was alive!). Then she comes to the final person, her killer, her lover, her boyfriend. He starts crying but nothing is happening. Why am I not being released from this world? But if it isn’t him who will release me who will?

I really like Release as Patrick Ness is one of my favourite authors and I really like the way he wrote Release it is really interesting to have the dialogue from Katie and the story from Adam. I have to say I preferred the story of Adam’s journey being a gay teenager living in a Christian world. You only really understand Katie’s dialogue half way the book. Overall, I found the book really easy and interesting to read, I would give this book 4 and a half stars.


RELEASE – Review by Larissa, Wren Academy

releaseRelease felt like it was two books in one. At first, I didn’t understand how they were not linked as one was about Adam Thorne who had relationship problems to deal with, a horrible incident at work, and a glimmer of hope. And there was a murdered girl who had risen from the lake and spirit was floating around mingling with spirit queens.

The two stories overlapped at the end in such an interesting way. I personally found the ghost girl one more interesting as I wanted to hear about her past and why she ended up in the lake. As I read throughout the story of the spirit I found it so engaging reading how she ended up dead.

Adam’s life was complicated and he had lots of arguments with his father who was a Christian and believed in god. Adam is gay and this book included lot of sexual references. It was very realistic as it linked to real life problems that everyday people have. I think this book is about a few things: , heartbreak, brotherhood, friendship, acceptance, and realizing blood doesn’t mean family. This book would be recommended for 12+ and mostly for teens to read.

RELEASE – Review by Angelina, Wren Academy

releaseI have very mixed feelings about Release, due to the mix of two different stories alternating each chapter: a day in the life for Adam Thorn, a gay teenager and a strange mythical, ghost story about spirits. To very honest I felt the addition of the spirit story did nothing to benefit the book and although it added to a great ending I found myself skipping past this part in this story to continue reading about Adam. The additional spirit story was irrelevant, boring, and time wasting for me, which was a real shame as I really enjoyed the rest of the book!  “The faun wishes to tell her, tell her that she is caught, his Queen, snagged and bound by a frightened soul. He needs to tell her that she is in danger of becoming lost forever, but he cannot. He can only look at the sun, less than an hour from its midday peak. The faun is worried. The faun is very worried.”

Adams parents and brother were not at all supportive of his sexuality, calling it “fake love”. The pressure they put upon him plays a large role in the story and how he seeks freedom in best friend Angela Darlington.

I would recommend this book to older teenagers and young adults who are looking for a heavy hitting book that makes you think. I would rate this book 6/10 overall due to the additional story of spirits (I would rate Adam’s story 9/10).

RELEASE – Review by Trinity, Copthall School

releaseThis novel is simply beautiful from every angle. With elements of agony, love and coming of age, Release is a passionate, rich and heartfelt story that’s definitely worth reading. As is the theme of most of Ness’ previous novels, such as ‘More Than This’, Release presents us with a unique protagonist with a problem that intertwines with an unexpected side-plot and unpredictable characters. We’re immediately introduced to Adam Thorn, a troubled, confused and heartbroken teenager who’s just getting to grips with how the world works. His charismatic and witty friend Angela contributes to the story, acting as my most likeable character. As I read further into this wonderful novel, I quickly understood the situation (or situations) Adam was in and immediately loved the book. Touching on perhaps the most important but ignored topics of our generation, Patrick Ness gives us a valued and insightful view on coming of age and discovering your identity. Yet, it wasn’t just this inspiring plot that caught my attention. Ness also managed to merge this already fabulous story with a completely unpredictable but intriguing sub-plot involving a deceased girl out for revenge, a questionable faun and a lost Queen. Release truly is a most marvellously constructed book.

Every corner of Release holds a memorable or touching moment, but I particularly appreciated the wonderful scene where Adam gives a meaningful speech to Linus, who reciprocated in a simply sublime manner. Adam was desperately struggling with his troublesome relationships between his father, ex-boyfriend and brother when Linus simply responds with, “You’re a good person, Adam. Don’t ever let them tell you you’re not”. I felt that this was Release’ most honest and glorious moment.

In conclusion, Release is a stunning and beautiful novel, giving us an insight on the troubles of discovering who you are. For its astonishing scenes and heartfelt speeches, I’m giving Release an 8/10.



RELEASE – Review by Michael, Totteridge Academy

releaseRelease is a book by Patrick Ness and contains two interwoven stories. The first story is about a 16 year old boy called Adam Thorne, who lives in Frome, Washington and has insecurities about being a homosexual boy born into a deeply religious family and community.  Adam is the second son of evangelist preacher, ‘Big Brian Thorne’, from The House upon the Rock Evangelical Church.  Adam is conflicted with the fact that he wants to tell his parents that he is homosexual but fears that if he does, they will stop him meeting his boyfriend.

The second story is about a spirit of the Queen of the Lake trapped within the mangled and dishevelled body of murdered girl, Katherine Van Leuwen. The fate of the world lies with the power of the Queen and dies with her.  The reader follows this story as the Queen slips between the memories and personalities of the dishevelled girl and the all-powerful, awe-inspiring Queen of the Lake.  The reader follows the Queen and her faithful servant, a faun, as they go on a journey to avenge the soul of the lost girl.  The faun struggles to regain control of the Queen, whom he has been faithfully following from the restless spirit of the girl.

These stories share a common element; a single red rose. We discover that the key to the Queen’s release from this half-existence lies with this story’s protagonist, Katherine.  A single red rose woke the Queen from her slumber and took her on Katherine’s revenge journey through the town she once called home.  A single red rose was also intended for Adam’s beloved boyfriend.  This shows a powerful message in the form of an extended metaphor with the rose signifying that love, no matter in what form, is the key to sadness and happiness.  It shows that when one candle is extinguished another is lit, stronger than the first which will burn brighter and longer.

I really enjoyed this story and I strongly urge all readers with a love for ‘factional’ writing and interest in problems in the real world to read it. In summary, a very good story for teenagers and adults as it contains some sexual themes and some language that would not be appropriate for the younger reader.

RELEASE – Review by Ralph, Wren Academy

releaseRelease follows Adam Thorn, a gay teenager, and his life with his parents, who are devout Christians and would no doubt be very upset if they knew, and his adult brother, Marty. Adam’s best friend is Angela, who lives on a farm with her parents. The book describes one of the worse days in Adam’s life with events such as the permanent departure on his old friend Enzo, the temporary, year-long departure of Angela, being sexually harassed by his boss, his parents discovering his sexual orientation, and the news that Marty is going to be a father. Watch him try to deal with all these issues while being enthralled by a sub story of a girl with magic powers.

My thoughts: I will be honest, I did not like this book much. I’m sure it is not a bad book but I do not like this form of genre. The sub-story is unnecessary and does not affect the book at all. It is essentially two stories in one but they interlocked so one may just be getting good but then it is halted so you can read an entirely new plotline. One story I found interesting but the other dull. I give this book 6/10.